The message boards at NPR are abuzz about yet another personnel brouhaha at the network. In a move that brings back memories of the Juan Williams fiasco, NPR questioned the ethics of radio host Lisa Simeone’s involvement with an Occupy D.C. group (as a spokesperson). Simeone, who lives in Baltimore and hosts the World of Opera and Soundprint shows, doesn’t technically work for NPR—she’s a freelancer—but that didn’t stop the network from posting the following message on its website last night…
We recently learned of World of Opera host Lisa Simeone's participation in an Occupy DC group. World of Opera is produced by WDAV, a music and arts station based in Davidson, North Carolina. The program is distributed by NPR. Lisa is not an employee of NPR or of WDAV; she is a freelancer with the station.
We're in conversations with WDAV about how they intend to handle this. We of course take this issue very seriously.
That sparked dozens of angry comments, most along the lines of “Shame on you, NPR.”
Simeone, for her part, blasted NPR in a lengthy statement, and soon after, it was reported that Soundprint had fired Simeone. There’s speculation that World of Opera will follow suit.